The ongoing crises in Syria and Egypt have marginalized the conflict in Mali in the Western media. But the French-led military intervention in that country is facing a complex and challenging transitional period. United Nations Special Envoy for the Sahel Romano Prodi recently warned the international community to “not forget the Sahel, or you will have more Malis if you do.” That is a prospect that European countries — including France — will certainly not relish, yet they lack the political will or the capacity to ensure a favorable outcome. Transatlantic actors now, more than ever, need to rethink their cooperation in the region and strengthen their alliances with local powers.
Interviewee: Commodore Steven Jermy RN, former Strategy Director in the British Embassy in Afghanistan
Since the intervention in Libya in 2011, which highlighted strong dissensions between France and Germany in the conduct of military engagement, Europeans have been waiting for a new opportunity to prove they could unite around a common objective, away from Brussels and the near-constant series of crisis meetings.